Griffins Rally Falls Short Bulldogs Take Shootout|
Bootland's Big Goal Lifts Team...
By Jason Kasiorek
Darryl Bootland scored the game tying goal late in the third to send the game into overtime, but it wasn't enough as the Bulldogs won it in a shootout 3-2. Brendan Brooks had the other Griffins goal, and Jimmy Howard made 38 stops in the loss.
The first period was a very physical start to the game with lots of banging and hitting. Jimmy Howard was at his best, making several huge saves to keep the score 0-0. Late in the period, Roy took a shot from the point that hit something and fluttered into the top corner of the net, stick side, past Jimmy. This energized the Bulldogs, who turned the last few minutes into a sooting gallery, but Howard kept the door closed. Shots on goal GR 9 - Ham 21.
The Griffins backed off Hamilton just around the 6 minute mark of the 2nd when Brooks crossed the line with speed and took a slapper that hit the defensemans stick and changed direction, beating Danis along the ice, stick side. The rest of the period was an end to end battle with neither team allowing much. Shots on goal GR 16 - Ham 5.
More of the same in the third with neither team gaining an advantage until late in period. With just over 3 minutes on the clock, Roy rifled a long shot that hit Howard in the shoulder and went straight up in the air. Jimmy could not find the puck, and what goes up must come down. And down it come right behind him and onto the line before bouncing in. The lead was shortlived however as Bootland scored a huge goal out front, converting a Langfeld pass less than a minute later. Shots on goal GR 6 - Ham 8.
Booter took a hooking penalty early in OT, leaving his team shorthanded for 2 minutes. Langfeld made a great play, knocking a Hamilton forward on his butt and taking the puck away. Himelfarb had the game-winner on his stick when he went in on a nice break, but had his legs chopped out from under him before he could get a shot off. Shots GR 2 - Ham 6. For the game GR 33 - Ham 40.
Kostitsyn made a move on Howard and scored low stick side.
Himelfarb blazed in on Danis but was stopped 5-hole.
Milroy was stopped with a leg pad save.
Hussey scored a highlight reel goal when he cut in and roofed it, blowing the water bottle off the net.
Lapierre missed the net.
McGrath made a nice move, but rang the puck off Danis leg pad.
Grabovski was next for Hamilton and Jimmy kicked it wide.
Langfeld went in on Danis, made a move, and lost the puck.
Jimmy made a stick save on Locke.
Miller tried to deke Danis and slide it 5-hole, but was denied.
Kostitsyn got Jimmy moving and tucked it 5-hole for the game-winner.
McGrath got to close and had the puck roll off his stick.
Hussey - Ellis - Campbell
Langfeld - Miller - Bootland
Oulahen - Himelfarb - Brooks
Langfeld/Himelfarb - McGrath - Barney
Ericsson - Meech
Smith - Insana
Galvin - #20 Plante
Backup #30 Koopmans
Ellis - Himelfarb - Langfeld
Campbell/Galvin - Meech
Miller - McGrath - Bootland
Ericsson - Hussey
Hussey/Himelfarb - Ellis
Smith - Meech
Himelfarb/Oulahen - Bootland
Ericsson - Insana
Hussey - Langfeld
Norton - Injured - Back
Quincey - Injured - Concussion
3 GR Howard
2 GR Bootland
1 Ham Roy
Eric Himelfarb had another great game. He worked hard along the boards and was winning the little battles. It was also nice to see him use his speed to create scoring chances.
The Griffins Penalty Killers were excellent all night, being aggressive, and forcing th puck carrier to the boards.
Nice to see Manlow and Groulx back in town, but neither were a factor in this game.
Smith and Meech were workhorses tonight, both of them logging a ton of ice time due to injuries and recalls.
Click here for the Official Scoresheet.